Eagles’ Howie Roseman explains lack of action at receiver in free agency, addresses Alshon Jeffery’s future

The Philadelphia Eagles have been active in free agency, albeit on the defensive side of the ball. Philadelphia acquired cornerback Darius Slay and signed defensive tackle Javon Hargrave to highlight their free agent spending, while re-signing Jalen Mills and Rodney McLeod and bringing in Nickell Robey-Coleman as the franchise continues to revamp its secondary. 

While the Eagles addressed a lot of needs, their biggest one was left untouched. Philadelphia made no improvements at wide receiver, passing on the top free agents in a weak class and failing to land any pass catcher in a trade. 

There’s still plenty of time to make an upgrade at wide receiver, something Roseman has preached to the Eagles fans concerned about the position. 

“It’s hard to do everything in free agency. It’s hard to fix every single thing you want to fix,” Roseman said in a one-on-one interview with Eagles insider Dave Spadaro. “Let’s be transparent about it, we need better play from that position. But as we looked at where we put our resources and making these decisions, there were opportunities that we looked at and dove into — and we decided to go into a different direction.

“As we look into our wide receiver group, we have a lot of time before we play our first game. We have some players coming back that we do think highly of and I do think can contribute to our football team. Our goal isn’t to have those guys only competing for jobs and raise the talent level.

“I think we got a lot of time here. We’ll look at every opportunity to improve the team. We also have some guys here on our roster that we do think highly of and will be huge additions that will help our team next year.”

The Eagles allowed Nelson Agholor to depart in free agency, but still have Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson returning as the veteran wide receivers. There was speculation whether Jeffery would remain with the team, given the Eagles could have released him with the post-June 1 designation. 

Jeffery would cost $16.639 million in dead money in 2020, and $9.467 million in 2021 with the designation, per CBS Sports NFL writer Joel Corry. The Eagles have a way out of Jeffery’s contract, especially given his relationship with Carson Wentz and the Lisfranc injury that may cause him to miss Week 1 of the regular season. 

Philadelphia appears set for Jeffery to return in 2020,.

“Some things that people don’t get to see is that this guy wants to win world championships in Philly,” Roseman said. “He has told me recently how much he wants to win for our fans, for our city. It is important for him to be a Philadelphia Eagle and work hard.

“He understands what people feel about him right now and he’s not sitting there feeling sorry for himself. He’s trying to work to remind people the kind of player that he’s been for our football team. 

“The priority for Alshon is to get healthy. Just talking to our PR staff and hearing the narrative of Alshon, he’s a good player. I think we lose sight of that a little bit and the things he can do when he’s healthy. The toughness that he’s shown in trying to bring a championship to our city, which he helped tremendously — and to have another one.”

Sounds if Roseman is ready to bring Jeffery back in 2020 and pair him for a fourth season with Wentz. While Jeffery may not be the same player he was in 2017, he still has value to the Eagles’ wide receiver corps when healthy. 

Jeffery may be the reason why Roseman and the Eagles’ front office didn’t pursue any of the top free agent wide receivers. He may be the best option of the bunch — and he’s already on their roster. 

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